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India: Places Around Chennai

Shiva  Temple, Kanchipuram


Known as Kanchi in the past, this ancient city of thousand temples was once the capital city of Pallavas. A must visit destination, it is a major Hindu pilgrim center and one of the seven most scared in India. Kanchipuram is also well known for its handloom industry. The exquisite silk sarees and cloths made from pure mulberry silk yarn is world famous and the best in the country.


Located in the southern tip of Indian peninsula, Kanyakumari is one of the most popular tourist spot. Witnessing sunrise, sunset and moonrise from the same spot will be a unique experience. Kumariamman Temple, Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Gandhi Memorial, Padmanabhapuram, Vattakottai, Suchindram etc., are places of interest in Kanyakumari.


Known as "The Princess among Hill Stations", Kodaikanal, situated in the Nilgiris, is 120km from Madurai. It has a solar physics observatory, museum, orchidarium, Kurinji flowers that blooms once in every 12 years. Its star shaped lake is popular for boating and fishing.


Often referred as the Athens of East, Madurai is the cradle of Tamil Culture. The last of the three Tamil Sanghams (Academy) flourished here, two thousand years ago. Sri Meenakshi Sundareswar Temple, Tirumalai Nayak Mahal, Mariamman Teppakulam etc. are a must visit in Madurai.


Shore Temple, Mamallapuram

In the 7th century, Mahendravarma Pallava built this seaport from where ships sailed for countries in Southeast Asia. Mamallapuram has renowned Shore Temple and other marvelous stone monuments. Arjuna's Penance, the world's largest bas-relief, school of sculpture, Beach, lighthouse etc., are of interest to tourists. The 40 days dance festival (25th Dec. ~ 7th Feb.) is a popular event no tourist must miss.


Situated in Nilgirisand 60km from Ooty, it is one of the major wildlife sanctuaries in India.


(583km) This is one of the four most sacred Hindu pilgrim centers in India. Sri Ramanathaswamy temple has magnificent sculptures and spectacular corridors, one of them said to be the longest corridor in the world.


Darasuram Temple, Tanjavur

Once Tanjavur was the capital of Cholas. The Brihadeeswara Temple, a Chola architectural marvel, stands 216ft tall. Topping the tower is a monolithic cupola made from a granite block weighing about 80 tons. The Nandi Bull, Palaces, Art gallery, Churches, Museum etc., are of interesting places to visit.


Popularly known as 'Tiruchi', the city is situated on the banks of River Kavery. It was a Chola stronghold during the Sangham Age. It is where the British and the French fought the Carnatic wars. The rock fort has splendid Pallava sculptures in the cave temples. Now Tiruchirapally is a commercial and pilgrim center.

Ooty Lake


Referred as the "Queen of Hill Stations", Ooty is a very popular hill station that is situated in the Nilgiris. It offers spectacular scenic beauty and bracing climate. Places of interest in Ooty are botanical gardens, boat club, golf course etc.


Another hill station situated amidst coffe plantations and orange groves. Killiam Falls, Bear's Cave, Kavery Peak, Pagoda Point, lake and temples are some of the places of interest.